How to Make Science Games

By Doug Hewitt
Make Science Games
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Science games can be excellent educational tools for both parents and teachers in helping children learn about science and to practice it. Of course, there are science games that can be purchased, but making the science games with the children who will be playing them adds to the learning experience. And in the case of parents, the process of everyone joining together to design and construct the science game will help to strengthen family bonds and teach children that learning science can be fun.

Decide on what type of science game you want to make. Two types of science games are board games and games based on activities that are similar to making science projects for school science fairs. Note that if this is a family activity, involving the children at the planning stage will help add to the fun and educational value of making science games.

Draw a path on poster board if you're making a board game. The path will be a series of squares that form a wavy line from start to finish. You need to have about 40 squares in your path. Draw a letter on each square: C for chemistry, M for math, P for physics and B for biology. The first square should be marked Start, and the last square should be marked Finish.

Choose a project if you decided on a game based on science projects. The project could be simple, such as constructing a volcano out of paper mache and adding baking soda and vinegar to obtain a chemical reaction. The rules for this game will be that a winner will be chosen on three criteria of the demonstration of each player's project: appearance of project materials, presentation of written material and an oral explanation of the scientific principles at work with the project. Of course, someone has to be the judge in this case, and it will be the parent or teacher.

Write questions on four sets of index cards for your board game. The sets of cards will be divided into chemistry, math, physics and biology. It's useful to number the cards and have the answers written on a master answer list with the answers referenced to the number on the card.

Select player pieces for your board game if you're making a board game. Each player rolls dice to determine how many squares to move ahead along the path. At the square on which the piece lands, read the top card question for the associated letter on the square. If the player answers correctly, the piece can be moved ahead five squares. The first player to the Finish square wins.

About the Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."